Apple Tablet tests detected by Bay Area company

Flurry, an analytics firm based in San Francisco, recently said it had picked up data suggesting Apple was busy testing apps for the forthcoming Tablet.

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Last week, Apple dished out the first round of invites to a Jan. 27 launch event for as-of-yet unnamed device, identified by Apple only as "our latest creation." Bloggers and analysts across the country pounced on the news, heralding the imminent arrival of the Apple Tablet, a flat, touch-screen device – reportedly long in the works – that could be a game-changer for the computer market.

There's plenty of evidence that Apple is close to unveiling its Tablet, including recent attempts by Amazon to corner part of the self-publishing market before Apple can move in. The latest proof comes from a Bay Area company called Flurry, which tracks mobile data use. Flurry reps told The New York Times that beginning last October, the company detected a new breed of device running iPhone-like applications.

Fifty of the devices have been detected, many near Apple HQ in Cupertino, Calif. “We saw a lot of testing of applications that deal with daily media consumption, like news, books, streaming music and radio," says Peter Farago, Flurry's VP for marketing. "But we are also seeing so many social apps, like multiplayer games you can play with your friends.”

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Recently, of course, Amazon invited third-party developers to produce applications for the Kindle, a move widely seen as an attempt to counter Apple's influence. Amazon got a good deal of buzz out of the announcement, but many wondered if apps for the Kindle, which lacks the display quality of Apple devices, would be able to measure up to anything on the Tablet.

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